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View Full Version : so i was shooting a wedding this weekend...


bigcountry
30th of June 2008 (Mon), 13:21
and a guy and a girl show up. i assume a bf/gf. the girl was carrying a nikon d200.

They are going to college for photojournalism and one freelances for the local newspaper.

i gotta tell ya what, she got pretty annoying real fast.

So what do you all do? I mean i am sure she knew what they were doing as far as "taking" a photo...but she got in my way over and over and over.

Mike30D
30th of June 2008 (Mon), 14:37
I'm assuming that they were guests right? You tell them, politely, and if that doesn't work then I go to the bride and explain the situation and that it needs to stop.

Dermit
30th of June 2008 (Mon), 15:11
I would go to the person who hired you, the person who is paying you to be there and talk to them about the situation. I also have a clause in my contract that states something along the lines that if other photographers are present and are being obsticals to me doing my job then I am not responsible and have the right to end the job without penalty. I make sure I verbally communicate this at contract signing time and let them know that I fully welcome any other people there with cameras but that if they get in the way and prevent me from doing my job then something will need to change, either them not being allowed to continue with what they are doing or by me walking out on the rest of the job. I have NEVER had a problem with this.

eigga
30th of June 2008 (Mon), 15:28
There is a big difference between getting in your way and being annoying. It is your paid job to capture the moments... all of them

#1- If this person is truly keeping you from doing your job you need to say something to them about it without being rude and without causing comotion as to disrupt anything

#2 If #1 does not work you need to get help from someone involved and not necessarily the bride - just someone who will understand you are missing capturing images due to this interference and fix the issue - This is why developing a relationship with clients is key .

bwolford
1st of July 2008 (Tue), 07:16
My inlaws have a wedding on the beach. They hire a company to facilitate the wedding (justice of the piece to administer the service, 2 photogs, chairs, flowers, champaign, etc). I sit in the front row, invited by the bride, and take pictures with my camera.

The photogs provide a CD of their images as part of the package. All are garbage. Bride asks me if she can see my images. Mine are superior to the professionals work. She wants to buy them.

Did I cross the line? She asked me to take pictures before and after the ceremony (not covered by the pros), but did not mention the ceremony.

I've seen the pros shots and they could have been taken by any knucklehead with a P&S. Apparently they didn't know how to use their flash to balance with ambient light and focus seemed to be a challenge. Forget any sunset shots. They looked like over exposed pictures of light bulbs.

Did I cross a line by agreeing to sell my photos?

cory1848
1st of July 2008 (Tue), 08:24
My inlaws have a wedding on the beach. They hire a company to facilitate the wedding (justice of the piece to administer the service, 2 photogs, chairs, flowers, champaign, etc). I sit in the front row, invited by the bride, and take pictures with my camera.

The photogs provide a CD of their images as part of the package. All are garbage. Bride asks me if she can see my images. Mine are superior to the professionals work. She wants to buy them.

Did I cross the line? She asked me to take pictures before and after the ceremony (not covered by the pros), but did not mention the ceremony.

I've seen the pros shots and they could have been taken by any knucklehead with a P&S. Apparently they didn't know how to use their flash to balance with ambient light and focus seemed to be a challenge. Forget any sunset shots. They looked like over exposed pictures of light bulbs.

Did I cross a line by agreeing to sell my photos?

IMO opinion, not at all. If all the package photogs were to do is give images on a CD, they fulfilled their contract. Might be an issue if those photos were expecting print sales from them, but it doesnt sound that way.

bigcountry
1st of July 2008 (Tue), 08:39
she was getting in my shots...for instance when they did their first dance i was photographing them, next thing i know she is right there in the way photographing.

to her credit she was like a ninja! at one point she literally rolled to the floor raised up and started taking phots...i about stepped on her.

cosworth
1st of July 2008 (Tue), 08:41
Good thing I wasn't shooting that wedding. She would have been sorry she showed up.

That is completely unprofessional and unwarranted.

alduin
1st of July 2008 (Tue), 09:29
Agreed. Taking pictures from your seat is one thing. Repeatedly jumping in front of the paid photog is completely different and could (should?) very well get you an L upside the head.

bwolford
1st of July 2008 (Tue), 09:59
IMO opinion, not at all. If all the package photogs were to do is give images on a CD, they fulfilled their contract. Might be an issue if those photos were expecting print sales from them, but it doesnt sound that way.

Print sales optional. Package purchased included the CD and time and attendance only.

AdrianeCale
1st of July 2008 (Tue), 10:08
I'm a big stickler when it comes to guests taking pictures and being in my shot. I don't care if they sit in the seat and take pictures during the ceremony. But I don't let it fly during the portraits. If I see someone getting up during the ceremony to get different angles, I will walk over to them and ask them to sit back down, and tell them that prints are available for purchase through my website. During the portraits, I'll let a few people snap a couple shots with their point and shoot cameras, but if someone is there with an SLR and they're taking shots of every pose I set up, then I ask them to stop. If they won't, then I tell the couple that their free prints are no longer available, and they will have to purchase everything they want. I warn the couple that I will say that, but it isn't true. Usually the person that is the problem will feel bad and stop, and then everything is cool. But if it doesn't then I pack up my stuff and leave.

If I had been the OP, I would have gone to those people the minute I saw them, and explained the situation. Most of the time people are pretty cool about it. If they give you attitude, then go speak with the bride or groom, and tell them that if the problem isn't solved, then you'll be leaving.

I agree with Dermit, it is a good idea to have a claus in the contract about other "photographers" and distractions. I have one in mine, and since it's been in there, I've only had one person really bother me.

Zansho
1st of July 2008 (Tue), 10:16
Did you have a clause in your contract to the effect that your services will no longer be provided if you have to deal with another overzealous photographer who's hindering your ability to take the photographs they hired YOU for?

I always take a moment to show them that part and explain why at the consultation. I'm not an ass about it, but i'm firm, and I do let it be known that I don't mind the mommas and aunts firing off their points and shoots to the side (without a flash) but I do mind people getting in my way.

I once had someone knock over my light in her quest for a photo of the bride and groom, thankfully it wasn't broken and I'm insured in any case. I promptly banished her from the premises, even with her saying she will no longer get in my way.

I do find it interesting though - the MORE they pay you, the EASIER it is for you to get what you want done.

stathunter
1st of July 2008 (Tue), 10:21
I am pretty accommodating and let whoever would like to take photos. Typically my brides stop the other photographers and let them know that I am the one their paid the big money to take photos---- my brides have not had a problem doing the work for me and letting others know that they are in the way and they need to accommodate the "paid photographer"

jdlloyd67
1st of July 2008 (Tue), 14:39
What's that thing that Spock used to do to people on Star Trek? You know the thing where he pinches their collar bone? That'd probably work nicely! :D

ryant35
1st of July 2008 (Tue), 14:48
What's that thing that Spock used to do to people on Star Trek? You know the thing where he pinches their collar bone? That'd probably work nicely! :D

More realistically you need a tazer.

DigitalSpecialist
1st of July 2008 (Tue), 14:54
Your lucky you just had an over zealous rookie. I had a bride totally take control of the shoot and allow everything to become a run amuk shoot. I got some very nice shots, but many times I had guests walking up in the middle of posed photos to chat with the bride and groom(who welcomed them). I got half the photos that I could have, and it took twice as long!

cdifoto
1st of July 2008 (Tue), 15:03
That's funny, sortof. I don't recall having any major problems with guests other than one jumping in front of me for a bouquet toss. I just don't think she had any idea I was standing there since I was between tables.

I generally let guests do their thing for group shots before I even start (telling them straight up anyone who wants to get shots to go for it and then let me have my time). Works out really well, especially letting them go first. They love and as a result love me. :D

As for throughout the day, I'm all over the place so no one really has a chance to get in my way (aside from that bouquet toss mentioned earlier). I kept the shot of her in my way as evidence in case the bride wondered why I missed that one. People have said my coverage looks like 2 photographers, if not more.

Dennis_Hammer
1st of July 2008 (Tue), 15:19
The fiercest weapon in that situation is the mother of the bride. I go ask if she knows that person because they are ruining all the shots by jumping in. And if she would talk to them about making sure I have my shots before they jump in. Bride's moms can be very pursuasive during these times and sometimes down right rude where I can't be.

ryant35
1st of July 2008 (Tue), 15:30
The fiercest weapon. LOL!

qtfsniper
1st of July 2008 (Tue), 17:58
I'm a big stickler when it comes to guests taking pictures and being in my shot. I don't care if they sit in the seat and take pictures during the ceremony. But I don't let it fly during the portraits. If I see someone getting up during the ceremony to get different angles, I will walk over to them and ask them to sit back down, and tell them that prints are available for purchase through my website. During the portraits, I'll let a few people snap a couple shots with their point and shoot cameras, but if someone is there with an SLR and they're taking shots of every pose I set up, then I ask them to stop. If they won't, then I tell the couple that their free prints are no longer available, and they will have to purchase everything they want. I warn the couple that I will say that, but it isn't true. Usually the person that is the problem will feel bad and stop, and then everything is cool. But if it doesn't then I pack up my stuff and leave.

If I had been the OP, I would have gone to those people the minute I saw them, and explained the situation. Most of the time people are pretty cool about it. If they give you attitude, then go speak with the bride or groom, and tell them that if the problem isn't solved, then you'll be leaving.

I agree with Dermit, it is a good idea to have a claus in the contract about other "photographers" and distractions. I have one in mine, and since it's been in there, I've only had one person really bother me.


It's fine if you have a clause and they agree to it but if there's nothing there that is really messed up. They paid for whatever package and for you to tell them their prints are no longer available? They paid you to do their pictures - not to manage other photographers. Why would you only bother them if they have a dslr? Is it because there are no good P&S photography? I think you should just manage with what you have - not try to dictate their own wedding. If they dont get the pictures they want, you can explain the situation.

tim
1st of July 2008 (Tue), 20:17
As a wedding photographer you have to have the confidence to control whatever situation arises, speaking to the B&G if necessary.

CanadianKitKat
1st of July 2008 (Tue), 21:20
I just did my first wedding and had two twits following me around all day. One with a tiny little p&s on a massive tripod (it was really quite comical out there in the bright, bright sunlight), and another with a low end SLR. Both were right behind me for the first 45 mins I shot the formals which really irks me cause I was tripping over them everywhere and of course they're stealing my poses and ideas which annoys the heck out of me. Finally I decided to pretend the weren't there at all, I stuck my eye to camera and didn't bother looking around me when I had to move. After a few minutes of stepping on them and placing my body right in front of their shots, I'd successfully made my point and they went away. I have to say, very annoying, distracting and make everything a little more difficult when you're trying to get a job done.

SuzyView
2nd of July 2008 (Wed), 09:44
Wow, ninja style. That's tough. I agree here with Tim. I eat people for breakfast that get in my way. I may have to slap someone and I have insurance to cover that. ;)

Seriously, you do have to be in charge and let the guests know that you cannot put up with them getting in your way. Your job is to get the best photos of the wedding and when you are frustrated and unhappy, that reflects on the party. Talk to the B&G, talk to the annoying guest, talk to the bride's Mom, if you have to! Just make sure you are in charge. And if you are getting annoyed, and can't make them stop, it is quite okay to stop, take a breath, and move on. Mace is good. :)

cdifoto
2nd of July 2008 (Wed), 09:53
I think it's a wedding photographer's job to work with the guests rather than bully them around in the name of the contract. Clauses can cover the missed shots, but bullying everyone around just gets you tagged as an *******.

If you work with them as friends rather than against them as enemies, they'll be asking for your business card...even moreso if you're fun and let everyone else have fun too.

SuzyView
2nd of July 2008 (Wed), 10:05
I think it's a wedding photographer's job to work with the guests rather than bully them around in the name of the contract. Clauses can cover the missed shots, but bullying everyone around just gets you tagged as an *******.

If you work with them as friends rather than against them as enemies, they'll be asking for your business card...even moreso if you're fun and let everyone else have fun too.

I agree with this, but sometimes, Uncle Joe is right there every time. As a professional, you still have to maintain control, not show any frustration. Joking around is great, and putting everyone at ease is key, that's why the B&G have to be comfortable. These situations really do happen, even at weddings I've covered. Be a professional about it is key.

form
2nd of July 2008 (Wed), 10:12
I always wonder why I can't get more than $75/hour for people photography when I think my work seems to be at least as good as some who charge twice as much. Yet when I raise my prices I never get any calls for work.

Dermit
2nd of July 2008 (Wed), 10:12
I think it's a wedding photographer's job to work with the guests rather than bully them around in the name of the contract. Clauses can cover the missed shots, but bullying everyone around just gets you tagged as an *******.

If you work with them as friends rather than against them as enemies, they'll be asking for your business card...even moreso if you're fun and let everyone else have fun too.

Absolutely. The clauses in the contract are only so I can go there and be covered by it if I have to. I guess I am fortunate in that I have never had any problems that have ever escalated to that point. Most people are very understanding and like said, if you work with them and explain things nicely when the need arises you should not have a problem... of course there will always be exceptions along the way. That's just the way life can get.

cdifoto
2nd of July 2008 (Wed), 10:44
I agree with this, but sometimes, Uncle Joe is right there every time. As a professional, you still have to maintain control, not show any frustration. Joking around is great, and putting everyone at ease is key, that's why the B&G have to be comfortable. These situations really do happen, even at weddings I've covered. Be a professional about it is key.
Yep and when Uncle Joe's up your ass, you talk shop with him a little bit, show him some pointers, etc.

I haven't had anyone disrespect me or be a total dick to me thus far. Maybe I'm just lucky.

cchooks
2nd of July 2008 (Wed), 11:00
I meet my couples, and anyone else having a say on the wedding day, a few days before the wedding. I let them know among many other things that taking a photo takes a great deal of concentration and it is not as simple as putting a camera to my face and pushing a button. There are some many things to consider, and one little mistake can ruin images. So I would rather concentrate on taking a good picture than concentrating on how to deal with guests who are hindering my efforts. In the end however, I do have a clause which allows me to leave should the contracted parties fail to contain a situation which will prevent me from doing my job.

tim
2nd of July 2008 (Wed), 16:35
I think it's a wedding photographer's job to work with the guests rather than bully them around in the name of the contract. Clauses can cover the missed shots, but bullying everyone around just gets you tagged as an *******.

Ok maybe I need to be more explicit: As a wedding photographer you have to have the confidence to control whatever situation arises without pissing people off, abusing people, while keeping everyone happy and smiling.

cdifoto
2nd of July 2008 (Wed), 17:55
Actually I wasn't even addressing your statement tim. I agree with you on both counts. Taking control doesn't necessarily equal bullying.

monkey_wrench
2nd of July 2008 (Wed), 19:02
bloody snokin!!

form
2nd of July 2008 (Wed), 19:24
I AM that overzealous rookie! At least, for Las Vegas weddings.

Mowman
2nd of July 2008 (Wed), 20:05
For my sister's wedding about a year and a half ago, the paid photographer had the right attitude about working with the other people with cameras instead of against them. He made it clear for the formals that he would set up the shot, take his shots that he needed for the pose then he would give time for anyone else to take a picture of the pose before moving on. This allowed everyone (myself included) that wanted a picture to get it while having everyone stay out of his way. It worked out great and the photographer had no problems with people getting out of his way when he needed it. He even took a little bit of time at the reception to give me a few wedding photography pointers and his card.

Hogloff
2nd of July 2008 (Wed), 22:07
Yep and when Uncle Joe's up your ass, you talk shop with him a little bit, show him some pointers, etc.

I haven't had anyone disrespect me or be a total dick to me thus far. Maybe I'm just lucky.

No, you are not lucky...you are a true professional. To me what separates a professional from the rest is how they handle themselves in all types of situations. Getting upset and bullying people around shows to me a lack of professionalism. Good for you for showing the rest the right way.

johnz
3rd of July 2008 (Thu), 06:28
First of all, i am not pro. Haven't done any ( payed ) weddigns.

But this thread is pissing me off. I know that you're professionals, i know that you must be left alone to do your job, and i do agree that going in front of you and harrassing you is bad and should be dealt with some how.

Still, you're the paid photographer but the event is not yours, it's for the b&g and For the guests. If i were attending for example my brothers wedding and was taking pictures from the sidelines with my DSLR + flash and the paid photog would give me **** for using a flash i would be very annoid. If my flash is preventing him to do his job, i guess his in the wrong business.

The best photographers i've seen at weddings get along with the guests and try not to harrass the event.

Formal shots are of course different, but restricting the guests from photographing the dancing or cutting the cake is so selfish behavour that i couldn't stand some photog bullying guests like that in my own wedding. And starting to threat the buyer... i don't even wan't to comment on that.
Guests like to take photos, i myself like to have and look at photos that i've taken myself, saying that "you can buy prints from my site" is just lame.

johnz
3rd of July 2008 (Thu), 06:35
And one more point.

I have seen many b&g's who were not happy with the shots from the payed photog, and they come to me and ask to see what i've shoot "for fun" at the event. Every time they've found some pics that they want.

So is it really such a good idea to raise yourself as the payed photog to a such pedastole that others aren't allowed to shoot? Or use a flas?

SuzyView
3rd of July 2008 (Thu), 06:38
I would like to state that when I shoot a reception (not the wedding itself, that's a totally different thing - can't do a reshoot at any time) I actually love it when people bring their cameras and take pictures as long as they see me standing somewhere and don't jump in front of me. I always let others shoot as I can't avoid it being at Asian weddings where everyone, including the 5 year old nephew has a P&S. And it's possible that someone will catch an angle, a moment I can't and that is valuable to the B&G and a treasure for the shooter for life. Some of my own favorite wedding shots were from friends. And I love to talk about cameras and people do come up to me to see what I am shooting with. I don't mind sharing. It's the one or two individuals who disrespect the pro, putting their needs before the B&G that may cause problems. And that has happened. It's human nature to be ticked, but it's a pro that diffuses it. :) I knew I'd get photography in to the answer. :)

tim
3rd of July 2008 (Thu), 07:02
First of all, i am not pro. Haven't done any ( payed ) weddigns.

But this thread is pissing me off. I know that you're professionals, i know that you must be left alone to do your job, and i do agree that going in front of you and harrassing you is bad and should be dealt with some how.

Still, you're the paid photographer but the event is not yours, it's for the b&g and For the guests. If i were attending for example my brothers wedding and was taking pictures from the sidelines with my DSLR + flash and the paid photog would give me **** for using a flash i would be very annoid. If my flash is preventing him to do his job, i guess his in the wrong business.

The best photographers i've seen at weddings get along with the guests and try not to harrass the event.

Formal shots are of course different, but restricting the guests from photographing the dancing or cutting the cake is so selfish behavour that i couldn't stand some photog bullying guests like that in my own wedding. And starting to threat the buyer... i don't even wan't to comment on that.
Guests like to take photos, i myself like to have and look at photos that i've taken myself, saying that "you can buy prints from my site" is just lame.

And one more point.

I have seen many b&g's who were not happy with the shots from the payed photog, and they come to me and ask to see what i've shoot "for fun" at the event. Every time they've found some pics that they want.

So is it really such a good idea to raise yourself as the payed photog to a such pedastole that others aren't allowed to shoot? Or use a flas?

I mostly agree with you - I am a pro, and I photograph many weddings (i've lost count). As professionals we have a responsibility to get the shots we're paid a heck of a lot of money for, and no matter what happens we have to get the shot. We also have to do it in a way that keeps everyone happy - the B&G, other people with cameras, parents, etc. It's in your best interest to keep everyone happy anyway, happy people = better photos. I've picked up at least a dozen weddings from people who've seen me work at weddings, then seen the resulting photos.

Just about everyone at a wedding has a camera, most with a P&S but some will have a 1Ds3. So what, we deal with it. The only time I restrict anyone taking photos is when they're spoiling my photos, in that case I quickly and quietly have a word with them and explain the situation. People ALWAYS co-operate when treated politely and with respect.

"i know that you must be left alone to do your job" - not really, we work best when there are happy people around us ;)

"If i were attending for example my brothers wedding and was taking pictures from the sidelines with my DSLR + flash and the paid photog would give me **** for using a flash i would be very annoid. If my flash is preventing him to do his job, i guess his in the wrong business" - that would be the sign of a bad photographer.

"The best photographers i've seen at weddings get along with the guests and try not to harrass the event. " - agree 110%

"restricting the guests from photographing the dancing or cutting the cake is so selfish behavour that i couldn't stand some photog bullying guests like that in my own wedding" - I didn't know we could restrict that sort of thing. Do some photogs try?

johnz
3rd of July 2008 (Thu), 08:38
"i know that you must be left alone to do your job" - not really, we work best when there are happy people around us ;)




:)

I was actually referring to "Some photographers" and also about the formal part of the job.

I am not usually the one who let's the pro's be by them selfs, atleast at some point during the evening i am going to engage some serious cameratalk, especially if i can see some L's :)

bigcountry
3rd of July 2008 (Thu), 09:12
tim,

i could careless if people use the P & S, DSLR's, disposables, whatever....that wasn't the point. Everybody thinks they're a pro photographer! LOL!

The point was, there was an overzealous photojournalism major who freelanced at the local newspaper that wanted to "get the shots."

Did i work around her? sure did, i even stepped in front of her a few times. Was she annoying? Very much so. Could she have been more considerate? Yes.

johnz
3rd of July 2008 (Thu), 09:36
tim,

i could careless if people use the P & S, DSLR's, disposables, whatever....that wasn't the point. Everybody thinks they're a pro photographer! LOL!

The point was, there was an overzealous photojournalism major who freelanced at the local newspaper that wanted to "get the shots."

Did i work around her? sure did, i even stepped in front of her a few times. Was she annoying? Very much so. Could she have been more considerate? Yes.

I think there is a point when things just go too far. And this probably has been one of those moments, then you just have to act accordingly and make sure you get your job done. Even if you have to be a bit rude, it's ok in my opinion.

What i was referring to earlier, was a more general limiting of others to take photos, that would just suck.

But of course, if there is someone who thinks he's a pro ( don't we all ) and thinks he/she can get in your way as much as he want's, that does require some reactions indeed. I think tazers were already mentioned ..Tear gas might also get u the space you want, maybe a little too much though ;) Seriously the good ways have already been mentioned, politeness to the guests and to the B&G coupl, in my opinion should be considered alot.

amfoto1
3rd of July 2008 (Thu), 14:56
Me, me, me.... that's the attitude today, far too often.

Hello! As a guest, you are there at the invitation of the B&G, to support, congratulate the B&G and share the joy of their big day... Not to screw up the photos they are paying good money to have shot professionally.

If the pro doesn't get the shots, then I wonder if they really are a pro, or just a wannabe hired off Craigslist for $500. That's a separate issue and doesn't excuse any guest who makes a nuisance of themselves.

Now, a pro usually doesn't need to get nasty about it, or involve bridezilla (who has enough on her mind), or the MOB. A quiet, polite request is usually enough. But, when it isn't it can be very frustrating and escalate quickly.

Not a wedding but I was at another event recently with my location lighting set up to take some shots. An overly zealous amateur was right over my shoulder popping away with her kit camera with its built-in flash every time a nice pose showed up (I was working with multiple live animals and people, so getting a good pose took some serious work and timing)... Each and every time she fired her flash, all my slave lights popped in response, leaving only my main light to fire when I took a shot. I had a whole bunch of bad exposures, thanks to her. If it had just been one or two, that would have been no big deal... but it wasn't, she was screwing up the entire series and making it next to impossible for me to get even one proper exposure. I let her know what was happening, hoping she'd quit. But she kept it up and I finally had to ask her to please stop. She did, but if the hadn't, I would have had to take it up a notch. I had a job to do and she was making it impossible.

(Note: In a separate incident, I had to chase off another amateur who was trying to use my location lights at that event, while I was elsewhere. I caught them trying to turn them on and plug in! I just told them that the trigger voltage of the lights would probably fry their camera. That worked.)

I've had problem shots as a result of someone else's flash too many times, so I don't think it's unreasonable for a pro to ask someone to tone it down and back off a bit so they can fulfill the commitment to their customer. Besides, often it's the venue, such as the church, that asks that flash photography be limited or curtailed. The pro gets this info in advance, while the amateur might not. The pro speaking to the amateur about it might just be passing along the instructions they were given, not actually confronting the individual who is using the flash for their own purposes.

It can be inconsiderate of the other guests, too, constant or too many flashes going off. Presumably a pro will know when to limit using flash, while some over zealous amateurs just don't know when to quit or what angles to avoid. At some other events other than weddings, it's even an important safety consideration.

It's really okay with me if someone else is grabbing a snap here and there, so long as they aren't repeatedly stepping in front of me to do it, triggering my slave lights or blasting their flash into the edge of my images. And, it's a bit cheeky to shoot over my shoulder constantly, copying every pose I set up verbatim.

Heck, at some weddings I shot years ago, I'd buy a bunch of disposable cameras, enough to put one on every table at the reception, and actually encouraged everyone to take some snaps. I even had the B&G call everyone's attention to the cameras and ask them to use them. Even so, a lot weren't fully used and we paid for processing anyway.

So, go figure, some guests bring their own camera and take more shots than the pro, getting in the way and being a perfect nuisance to the pro shooter, all the other guests and the wedding party. Others won't even pick up a free P&S and take a few candid shots when asked.

Besides, at weddings there are plenty of problem guests even without cameras. Almost invariably, there's someone who has had a bit too much punch and wants to chat with me about all the great shots he got with his Polaroid SX70 on his cruise to Alaska in 1987.

Gotta say, this thread's pretty much captured the reasons I turn down most wedding gigs!

In a lot of ways, the photographer ends up being the choreographer and director on the wedding day. That's just the way it is and part of the job. Diplomacy and tact can be used to deal with most situations, but on occasion you have to call in the "big guns" to enforce things, or call aside the person causing the problems to make them understand the issue.

I had to get back up off the floor, after reading the "rolling ninja" photographer description! :) Might have worked well to have gone ahead and stepped on her "Oops! Sorry! My eye was to my viewfinder." (Okay, not really, wink wink).

Woogie
3rd of July 2008 (Thu), 15:07
I'd full power the flash gun/strobe and fire a few their way. That might send the right message.

ryant35
3rd of July 2008 (Thu), 15:52
I'd full power the flash gun/strobe and fire a few their way. That might send the right message.

I this this is a great way to get them out of the way.

Raivyn
3rd of July 2008 (Thu), 17:02
I was just at a wedding this past Sunday as a guest, and during the first dance, I happened to be at the perfect spot for some nice photos. So I took some. No one else was standing there, so I didn't think much of it. A minute or so later, the paid photographer came over to take shots, but had to stand somewhere not so good (though close by). My initial thoughts were, "hey, you should have been paying better attention to the room so you were already positioned for this." Plus there were actually two professional photographers, so that neither one of them was where I was standing when the first dance started was kind of lame. That being said, I made sure I wasn't in the other photographer's way. I knew she had a job to do, and it would have been disrespectful of me to prevent her from getting the photos my friends paid her for. But that doesn't mean she gets first choice of every available shot. And since I was a guest, she couldn't tell me to move.

I think it boils down to proper planning and as best as possible, and making it clear to the B&G what the conditions are required for you, the professional photographer, to take the photos the B&G are expecting of you. I think most couples understand that it will be difficult for you to get poised nice shots if a papparazzi like crowd is following them, standing in front of you, and firing their flashes at inopportune times. By the same token, if you take the time to set up a particular shot (or shots) for photos that will ultimately become something that is your signature style, then I don't think it is appropriate for other shutterbugs to be in your way. Those shots are some of the most important deciding factors in choosing a wedding photographer, and someone else taking the shot is actually stealing your work IMO. I believe you are entitled to any and ALL photo sales when you carefully orchastrate photos.

If you see a movie production crew on the street filming a scene, and break out your little (or maybe fancy) video camera, and the filming crew sees you, I'll bet they'll rip your video camera away from you, and no one would think that was unusual.

I've actually seen in wedding contract clauses that prohibit other people from taking photos of poses they actively stage. I don't know if weddings are considered "public", but nonetheless, I would talk to the B&G in the planning stages about the conditions you work best in. If you don't mind lots of shutterbugs, then fine. If you do, then communicating this to the B&G (in advance) will give you the "authority", so the speak, to control the situation so you work at your highest capacity. Plus, it is likely the couple will communitcate this to the MOB, MOG, and all other key people, and this may create a situation where one of them will do a better job of controlling the rogue wannabe photographer than you ever will w/o coming across as a jerk.

For all we know, the ninja photographer was the girlfriend of a friend of a guest, who didn't want to go to a wedding solo. Wouldn't it have been aweful to miss great shots for someone so removed from the B&G?

Thanks for reading my long post. It's a slow day at work today. :)

bigcountry
3rd of July 2008 (Thu), 18:51
If the pro doesn't get the shots, then I wonder if they really are a pro, or just a wannabe hired off Craigslist for $500.

hahaha i will carry that title!